The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Written by: James Washburn
You have probably heard of the phrase, “guilty by association.” Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people can get someone in a lot of trouble, even if they are innocent. It’s the idea of “associating” with someone which produces some sort of negative result. Let me use a play on words here with the idea of “being changed by association.” Sometimes you are at a certain place with certain people for an experience that changes you for the positive. The two men in the scripture for today are perfect examples of this concept in relation to Jesus.
Peter and John were disciples of Jesus. A disciple can be simply defined as a personal follower/student of Jesus and these two guys were associating with Jesus all of the time and on a daily basis.
In Acts 4, Peter and John are standing and proclaiming the Good News of salvation before a large crowd of people. In the crowd are a religious council of priests, the captain of the Temple guard and the Sadducees (religious scholars Jesus had multiple negative run-ins with). These were very religious and highly educated people. The next day they all decide to confront Peter and John to give them a hard time about what they were teaching to the crowds the day before. Peter and John become bold by the power of the Holy Spirit and defend their teaching and proclaim salvation to all of them as well. The educated and religious people were shocked at how bold Peter and John were and how well they knew their stuff given the fact they had no formal education.
I love the very last part of verse 13 which states, “they also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” Just being associated with Jesus on a daily basis changed everything about the lives of Peter and John, including the way others looked at their educational status. Their lives were changed by association!
What if you and I decided to follow Jesus and to become a disciple of Him? The same thing that happened to Peter and John would happen to us. Every aspect of our lives would be changed because we would be learning from the greatest teacher there has ever been. We would be changed by association!
Thought of the day: Just being associated with Jesus changes us and others can see it. Let’s allow ourselves to be “changed by association” with Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, help me to draw closer to You and teach me more about my faith in You. Open my eyes to things I have never seen before and help me to be a student of Your Word. Give me the courage to not be afraid to be associated with You no matter where I am or who I am with. In Jesus’ name, amen.